Throughout my career in marketing, one common obstacle has always remained. Getting Sales to buy-in to and use the company CRM (customer relationship management) system of choice.
In the early days of the internet (yes, I remember them), CRM systems were cumbersome, time-consuming and unintuitive to use. Salespeople were field-based, and spent their days clocking up mileage visiting potential customers. Admin was seen as a frustrating waste of time that they could be spending on generating commission.
Times have thankfully changed, and CRM systems are no longer (or shouldn't be) a big messy anxiety-inducing database. A good CRM system should help you manage relationships and sell more efficiently.
It should be your sales people's secret weapon.
At Equinet, unsurprisingly as we are Platinum partners, our CRM of choice is HubSpot. In this post, I will guide you through some of the tools HubSpot provides for Sales and how you can leverage them (many of which are free to use).
1. Meetings (free)
How much of your salespeople's time is spent going back and forth with prospects trying to get a date in the diary?
The meetings tool integrates seamlessly with your Google or Office 365 calendar and enables prospects to book slots directly into your schedule at a mutually convenient time. You can set:
- Time periods that are available (taking into account pre-scheduled appointments)
- The length of the meeting
- Location of meeting
- Buffer times between meetings
- Schedule group meetings with multiple people
Most importantly, it enables you to capture quality information about a prospect using custom form questions, saving you time and providing you with valuable context about your contact before the meeting.
You can embed a link in your email footer to a custom landing page such as this. Once someone books time in your calendar you will receive an email notification and the HubSpot CRM contact newsfeed auto-populates - goodbye, data entry!
The HubSpot Academy have put together a guide to how to use meetings which takes you through step by step how to set up the tool.
With the free CRM you get one meeting link. With HubSpot Sales Starter or Sales Professional, you can set up multiple meeting links - allowing for different length meetings, meeting types or locations.
2. Snippets (free)
Do you find yourself typing the same phrase over and over when emailing prospects? Maybe you try to copy and pasting from one email to another and waste time re-editing the same email again and again?
Snippets allows you to create short phrases (up to 500 characters) which you can then add to an email using a command key (such as #). These phrases could be your standard email greeting, or pricing information, for example. Each phrase is assigned its own shortcut key so you can ensure you use the right one.
If emailing prospects takes up a big part of your day, this is the tool for you. Snippets can save time but also preserve the one-to-one, personalised relationship you’ve already built with your prospects. They are quick and easy to set up and included in the free version of HubSpot CRM.
If you have HubSpot Sales Starter or Sales Professional you can also use snippets in the messages tool. More on this later.
3. Templates (free)
Templates take snippets one step further and enable you to create complete templates for repetitive sales emails that you then personalise, optimise, and share with your team.
Once you have your templates saved they are just one click away inside your inbox. You can then personalise the email with an appropriate opening and closing sentence and click send.
As email is integrated with your HubSpot CRM you can get real-time metrics on which of your templates are performing well.
Your open rates tell you which subject lines your leads and customers prefer. And your click rates tell you which buttons, links, and attachments they explore. This means you can fine-tune your approach and maximise the effectiveness of your emails.
In the free CRM you get up to 5 templates included but with Sales Starter and Sales Professional, this jumps up to 1000.
4. Sequences (Sales Starter/ Professional only)
HubSpot enables you to queue up a series of personalised email templates in a sequence that get delivered automatically so you can be prospecting while you are on the road.
HubSpot will notify you if someone opens the email, clicks a link or responds, and the sequence will automatically stop so there is no danger of emails being sent if they are no longer appropriate.
Once again, real-time metrics help you to fine-tune your process and pin-point the combination of sequenced emails to get the best results.
5. Messages (Sales Starter/ Professional only)
Messages is HubSpot's version of Live Chat. With messages, you can speak directly with the most engaged prospects at the perfect time — when they’re interested, on your website, are asking questions, and active in the buying process.
With live chat expected to grow by as much as 87% in the next 12-18 months. This is one tools your Sales people need to be leveraging.
Messages works seamlessly with HubSpot CRM so you can route incoming chats to the sales rep who owns that contact in HubSpot. All conversations are automatically synced to the CRM, making it easy to view past conversations, enroll the contact in a sequence or schedule follow up tasks.
Existing HubSpot users may have noticed the menu within your portal change in the past few weeks, this is to make way for some new tools. Coming very soon is an updated version of messages called Conversations.
Conversations will enable you to bring together messages from live chat, team email, and Facebook Messenger so you can view, manage, and reply to conversations from prospects and customers in one central place. Keep an eye out for product updates here.
These are just 5 of the many features available within HubSpot Sales. If you are new to the CRM, these are the ones that will kick start your inbound sales pipeline and help you bring in more business, quicker and more efficiently. To learn more download our eBook.